Thursday, September 13, 2012

Middle Men Getting Rich Off the Syrian Civil War

There are massive amounts of cash flowing from the Gulf states to Syrian rebel groups. Some of this money never reaches its destination, however, as unsavory middle men siphon off funds meant for the rebels. In other cases, con men are selling themselves as representatives of groups to which they have no connection. Rebel groups are aware of the problem and are trying to dampen its impact by publicizing their official fund raising channels on social media outlets.

The Furqan Brigade, a member of the Ansar al-Islam group in Damascus, posted a warning on their facebook page to their “donor brothers in the Gulf states.” Furqan cautioned that that “there are people collecting donations in the name of the Furqan Brigade that have nothing to do with us.” The post then directed prospective donors to the phone number of the Furqan Brigade’s financial committee.

It is inevitable that this would occur as the flow of money from the Gulf to Syria is entirely unregulated, allowing money handlers, both official and spurious, to get very rich very quick.

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